walkhighlands

This board helps you to share your walking route experiences in England and Wales... or overseas.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Upper Wharfedale Trio

Upper Wharfedale Trio


Postby Broggy1 » Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:36 am

Hewitts included on this walk: Birks Fell, Buckden Pike, Yockenthwaite Moor

Date walked: 27/09/2014

Time taken: 5

Distance: 26.1 km

Ascent: 1213m

2 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).


our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



I decided to risk a mixed forecast to hopefully take on the three fells at the head of Upper Wharfedale on Saturday with my thinking being to start with Birks Fell then hopefully take on the notorious Yockenthwaite Moor before reviewing just how much the rough walking had taken out of me before deciding whether to add Buckden Pike to the day.

A cold start greeted me in the morning (it was 2 degrees driving through Kettlewell) with thick valley fog all around at the start at Buckden.

However the signs were good that this would actually be a good morning for walking with a good chance of getting above the valley cloud.

The car park was already quite busy at 9am but I was soon heading off in the opposite direction of most the people there towards Redmire to start the climb to Birks Fell.

Early morning Buckden.JPG
Early morning in Buckden


Initially this is on an excellent track and progress is quick and easy until I hit the wall on the summit plateau near the Trig Point on Firth Fell. The views were excellent at this point with Buckden Pike looking majestic across the valley and a lovely cloud inversion engulfing the valley below it.

Gaining height.JPG
Gaining height from Redmire


Above the cloud now.JPG
Above the cloud now


Birks Fell ahead.JPG
Birks Fell ahead


Buckden across the valley.JPG
Buckden Pike across the valley


Yockenthwaite Moor.JPG
Yockenthwaite Moor


Up until this point the weather had been superb and was showing some real signs of winter arriving. However, it was getting cloudier as I turned to follow the wall that led me past Birks Tarn and up to the cairn on Birks Fell (which stood on some earth that looked slightly man made to me).

I also visited a cairn on the other side of the wall that must mark the high point on the fell according to the map - although there is little difference in the entire ridge from Horse Head to Firth Fell in truth.

I quite enjoyed this stretch of Birks Fell and would imagine it would make a pleasant short walk from Buckden for anybody wanting to do it on it's own (it would almost certainly be quieter than the Pike).

Wall towards Birks Fell top.JPG
I followed this wall to the summit of Birks Fell


Birks Tarn.JPG
Birks Tarn


Summit Cairn Birks Fell.JPG
Summit cairn Birks Fell


Cairn marking 610 point on map.JPG
Cairn marking 610 spot on the map but obviously not as high as the other cairn


It was now time to take on one of the rougher stretches of the route over towards Horse Head. This was mostly a case of following the fence over a few boggy patches and one short stretch of large peat hags that I suspected would give me a good taste of what was to come on Yockenthwaite.

This was hard work but was over quite quickly and I was soon heading towards Sugar Loaf and the cairn on Horse Head. I didn't get all the way to the Trig Point though as I joined the main path heading right off the ridge towards valley level and Yockenthwaite.

Sugar Loaf in distance.JPG
Follow the fence over to Sugar Loaf (left) and Horse Head (right)


Looking back to Birks Fell.JPG
Looking back to Birks Fell over the worst section of the hags


Descending from Horse Head with Yockenthwaite ahead.JPG
Following the good path down to Yockenthwaite with Yockenthwaite Moor ahead


From here it was time to regain the lost height by ascending Yockenthwaite Moor which seemed to have a reputation as either being "not as bad as it is said" or a "truly evil place" according to several reports I'd read.

It was certainly not bad to begin with as I followed the bridleway out of Yockenthwaite and then a vehicle track and then intermittent sheep trails to gain height through a few rocky outcrops.

Eventually I came to the plateau and I was gobsmacked to see several people already on the fell. Surely they all couldn't be walkers?

None of them seemed to be too bothered by my presence but I could see that they were all waving flags and not wanting to cause a problem I decided to make a beeline for the nearest one to me who turned out to be a young girl.

She confirmed to me that they were having a shoot but there was no problem with me being there as long as I went with her to the Summit Trig Point first. I followed her as she easily negotiated the bogs (she was wearing wellies) and soon enough I was at the Trig Point without ever really encountering anything too bad at all - probably mostly due to being more concerned about being shot!

Yockenthwaite Trig.JPG
Trig Point on Yockenthwaite Moor


Shooting party on Yockenthwaite.JPG
Shooting party on Yockenthwaite Moor


She then asked me which way I was heading off and as I confirmed that I was heading to Gilbert Lane (any idea of not doing Buckden Pike firmly gone in my mind now) and in the opposite direction to the shooters she waved me on my way and I breathed a sigh of relief!

It was now a case of more bog dodging along the peat hags of the Moor as I followed the fence on the top. To be honest all of these hags are negotiable with a bit of leaping and back tracking etc and I must say I've encountered far worse in the Bowland Fells and the North Pennines (indeed the short stretch between Birks Fell and Horse Head is probably worse as well).

A word of warning to anybody following the fence line on the map. There is a junction where several unmarked fences join and it is quite unclear which one to follow. I was lucky enough to have Buckden Pike in view on a clear day so I just aimed in that direction but anybody caught there in mist should probably look to follow the wall on Strans Gill back to Yockenthwaite.

Follow the fence on Yockenthwaite.JPG
Following the fence off Yockenthwaite Moor


The closer I got to Buckden Pike the better the terrain became and it was with some relief that I eventually hit the really good path at Gilbert Lane which I followed back to the high point of the B6160 road.

Better terrain now with Buckden Pike ahead.JPG
Better terrain now with Buckden Pike ahead


Gilbert Lane Track.JPG
Gilbert Lane track


Road high point.JPG
Road high point


I'd foolishly presumed that there would be a path to climb Buckden Pike from this point but while I could see an odd green path besides a wall I couldn't see an easy way of gaining a foothold on the fell.

Not wanting to lose any more height I took a probably not legal route over a few fences and gates - one which warned of a bull in the field but thankfully I never saw him - to eventually hit the good path coming up from Buckden where I joined a procession of people on their journey to the summit.

From the summit I could see that Yockenthwaite Moor was now engulfed in mist and rain - I wouldn't want to be up there now!

Towards Buckden Pike.JPG
Heading towards Buckden Pike


Main path in view.JPG
Main path in view (over several fences!)


Buckden Pike Summit.JPG
Buckden Pike Summit


It was now a case of following the good path all the way back down into the Village.

Good path down.JPG
Good path down


Buckden Rake back to Buckden.JPG
Buckden Rake back into Buckden


A tough and challenging route over some rough terrain but very worthwhile and I got some excellent weather for it (particularly in the morning).
User avatar
Broggy1
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 825
Munros:85   Corbetts:15
Grahams:3   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:272
Wainwrights:214   Islands:1
Joined: Jul 22, 2013

Re: Upper Wharfedale Trio

Postby poppiesrara » Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:18 pm

A sterling effort to get those three into one walk, Broggy (especially in only 5 hours :clap: ).

This is probably the right (dry) summer for Yockenthwaite Moor, but I also found the southern approach pretty tolerable, although your way off down the fence looks a bit more daunting... The main path up Buckden Pike is really nice though - and it must be an 'inversion hotspot' as the only one I've ever seen was also below the same hill!
User avatar
poppiesrara
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1259
Munros:1   
Donalds:1
Hewitts:310
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Aug 11, 2010
Location: Leicestershire

Re: Upper Wharfedale Trio

Postby Broggy1 » Wed Oct 01, 2014 9:33 am

Thanks Poppy

Yeah this is the first time I think I've ever looked down at a blanket of cloud in the valleys although I did once get up and above the clouds on Ben Nevis of all places so I guess I can't complain.

How does Yockenthwaite compare with the wetter places in Wales just out of interest?
User avatar
Broggy1
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 825
Munros:85   Corbetts:15
Grahams:3   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:272
Wainwrights:214   Islands:1
Joined: Jul 22, 2013

Re: Upper Wharfedale Trio

Postby poppiesrara » Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:10 pm

There aren't many deep peat-hags like Yockenthwaite (or Kinder/Bleaklow) anywhere among the Welsh Hewitts - the only place that's even at all similar (probably no better or worse and - similarly - there's only a mile or so of the serious hag-hopping to negotiate) is Llechwedd Du in the Arans. The worse Welsh bogs are more often flat & green, grassy-looking but very wet, like some of the outlying areas of the Lakes - quite a lot of the Arenigs are like that, and definitely the heights above the Elan Valley. I wouldn't want to put you off going through the Welsh hills at all though!
User avatar
poppiesrara
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1259
Munros:1   
Donalds:1
Hewitts:310
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Aug 11, 2010
Location: Leicestershire

Re: Upper Wharfedale Trio

Postby Broggy1 » Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:50 am

Good to know Poppy - I can always check your reports for details on them as well having followed a few of them already (Rhinogs/Cadair)!

Although doing Wales is not really on the agenda at the moment - I would like to finish the Dales off and then maybe the Pennines next year while slowly ticking off a second round of Wainwrights - although I do enjoy an odd trip a year over there and as you mentioned in another post there are some of the very best hills in the Country there (Tryfan, Snowdon, Cadair etc).

Thanks again.
User avatar
Broggy1
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 825
Munros:85   Corbetts:15
Grahams:3   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:272
Wainwrights:214   Islands:1
Joined: Jul 22, 2013

Re: Upper Wharfedale Trio

Postby Sarah86 » Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:46 pm

Looks a great walk, I'd love to do a bit of walking in the Yorkshire Dales some day, looks a good area to enjoy walking.
User avatar
Sarah86
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 572
Munros:13   Corbetts:3
Grahams:1   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:16   Hewitts:1
Wainwrights:20   
Joined: Aug 29, 2011

Re: Upper Wharfedale Trio

Postby mrssanta » Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:01 pm

Sarah86 wrote:Looks a great walk, I'd love to do a bit of walking in the Yorkshire Dales some day, looks a good area to enjoy walking.

oh it's reet grand
User avatar
mrssanta
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3041
Munros:251   Corbetts:11
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:44
Wainwrights:40   Islands:8
Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Location: north yorkshire moors

Re: Upper Wharfedale Trio

Postby simon-b » Sun Oct 12, 2014 7:14 pm

Sorry I'm a bit late answering this one, Broggy. It's a lovely area around Upper Wharfedale and Langstrothdale.
mrssanta wrote:
Sarah86 wrote:Looks a great walk, I'd love to do a bit of walking in the Yorkshire Dales some day, looks a good area to enjoy walking.

oh it's reet grand

It is indeed. Get yourself here, Sarah.
User avatar
simon-b
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1914
Munros:282   Corbetts:30
Grahams:7   Donalds:12
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:156
Wainwrights:214   Islands:4
Joined: Jan 2, 2012
Location: Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Re: Upper Wharfedale Trio

Postby colgregg » Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:27 pm

I did Yock fell from the North which wasn't too bad. In the mist the summit was a god forsaken place. Even the promised tarn (Middle Tongue) shown on the map failed to materialised having given up the ghost and dried up. It's a top that has to be done as it's "on the list". A Return is very low on the priorities.
colgregg
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2182
Munros:15   Corbetts:5
Grahams:5   
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:182
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Aug 25, 2009
Location: Richmond North Yorkshire

2 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Outside Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests